The Senhance Surgical Robot by TransEnterix has been used, for the first time, to perform a radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer, the company announced. The procedure was performed at the Policlinico Agostino Gemelli Foundation, in Rome, by Dr. Salvatore Gueli Alleti, a gynecologic surgeon.
“This is an exciting development in the minimally invasive surgical field. The Senhance system was successfully utilized to perform a radical hysterectomy with bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy,” Alletti said in a press release. “This is an extensive oncological dissection, and the system’s precision, camera control, ergonomics and haptics were important benefits to help perform this operation safely and effectively. I strongly believe that the Senhance is a promising technology in complex gynecologic oncology.”
If cervical cancer is detected early, doctors may recommend a radical hysterectomy as a treatment option. This involves the surgical removal of all the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the upper portion of the vagina. The fibrous tissue that separates the cervix from the bladder and pelvic lymph nodes are also removed in this procedure, meaning that it a major cancer operation with associated risks.
Currently, surgeons are using robotic-assisted laparoscopic technologies to perform a radical hysterectomy. This procedure requires just a few small incisions, and is faster, less invasive, and safer than traditional “open” surgery. But laparoscopic surgeries can limit surgeons’ field of view, and their ability to perceive the differences in tissue density while operating.
Senhance Surgical Robot System, a haptic surgical robotic system, was designed to address this issue. By providing tactile feedback, the system allows the surgeons to distinguish tissues with different degrees of stiffness, which may lead to better identification of cancerous tissues, or of tissues weakened by infection or inflammation that require more careful dissection.
Senhance has been granted a CE Mark for use in general surgery, gynecology, urology, and thoracic surgery in the European Union, but is not currently approved for use in the United States. TransEnterix is preparing a submission for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).